In Germany, a 49-year-old native of Russia was fined 1,500 euros for wearing a T-shirt with the letter Z, symbolizing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the “Z” has been a punishable symbol of support for the illegal war of aggression when it is shown in public.
As reported by FAZ news, a resident of Wiesbaden, a native of Russia, worked as an electrician in Walluf. He came from Russia to Germany in 1992. The man thought that the “Nazis were in power” in Ukraine. According to him, a Russian friend brought him the T-shirt with the “Z” and he wore it at work as a counterpoint to the Ukrainian flag that his employer hung on the company building. It is interesting to note that, in the courtroom, the man said that the main source of information for him was the Russian state media.
The man added that he was not aware that he was committing a crime, and not only regrets the choice of clothing, but also his choice of propaganda media. Now he must transfer 1,500 euros to the non-profit initiative “Germany helps”, including helping Ukrainians affected by the war. It is a criminal offense to publicly display “Z” symbol in Germany. Despite this, with the agreement of the prosecutor, the proceedings were terminated in exchange for payment of the fine.
According to District Judge Carina Steinhauser, there are still no higher court rulings on this, but in the Wiesbaden District Court, displaying the “Z” in public is considered a criminal offense because, according to criminal law, it is “suitable for disturbing public peace”.